CELTIC fans across the world have been plunged into mourning as the football club confirmed the death of legend Billy McNeill.

The Parkhead club revealed the devastating news in a statement this morning.

It read: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our father Billy McNeill. He passed away late last night (Monday, April 22) surrounded by his family and loved ones. He suffered from Dementia for a number of years and fought bravely to the end, showing the strength and fortitude he always has done throughout his life.

“We would also like to note our love and appreciation to our mother, Liz, for the care, devotion and love she gave to our father throughout his illness. No one could have done any more.

READ MORE: Celtic legend Billy McNeil dies aged 79

“Whilst this is a very sad time for all the family and we know our privacy will be respected, our father always made time for the supporters so please tell his stories, sing his songs and help us celebrate his life.”

Heartbroken supporters have inundated social media with messages of condolence.

One wrote: “God bless Billy. The man was Celtic to the core. I'll always remember meeting you both in Lisbon and in Mcneills with my dad and my brother. A true gent. #RIP #YNWA.”

Another said: “So sad Rest In Peace Billy thoughts and prayers with his family and friends . A colossus of a man and absolute Celtic legend #HHCesar.”

“As a Rangers fan I can still appreciate Billy McNeil's contribution to Scottish football. A true gentleman who played hard but fair. Condolences to his family, friends and club for their loss. RIP,” added another.

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“God rest Billy  The man has left a legacy and a lifetime of memories for every Celtic fan across the globe,” was another tribute.

One man chipped in: “So sad. My favourite player as a wee boy. Embodied the club.”